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Blockchain gaming boom dies down with over 30 percent closure rate

Amid the surge in popularity fueled by play-to-earn features and in-game ownership, the blockchain gaming sector is currently facing a decline.

A recent report by media outlet BlockchainGamer.biz shows that out of 1,318 blockchain-based games circulating since 2021, approximately 30 percent are currently designated as discontinued. This translates to the abandonment of around 407 blockchain games.

The report highlights funding challenges and evolving market conditions as the primary reasons for canceling blockchain-based games. However, a majority of the halted projects were smaller initiatives led by less experienced and under-capitalized teams.

According to BlockchainGamer.biz, successful blockchain games demand more than mere buzzwords and tokenomics. Poorly developed tokenomics will cause hyperinflation and devaluation of the coins, which lead to the game being unable to establish a sustainable economic model.

Additionally, the BlockchainGamer.biz report highlights that in most cases, developers opted to cease operations without providing formal announcements, foregoing any prior notice. Many people are now questioning the sustainability of the blockchain games genre.

Started strong

The growing skepticism in Web 3.0 gaming is reflected inBlockchainGamer.biz’s latest January update. The list includes 911 blockchain-based games, with 334 actively live and 577 in various stages of development.

In 2022, the blockchain gaming industry reached a value of $4.6 billion, with blockchain platform Wax emerging as the most popular. At the time, Wax boasted over 350,000 unique active wallets.

During Q1 2023, the industry still exhibited a notable positive trend with a 45.60 percent dominance growth over other categories. Despite a slight dip of 8.58 percent in the number of blockchain gamers, totaling nearly 800,000 in Q1 2023, the overall count in 2022 surged to 37 million, marking a 50 percent increase from 2021.

However, the latter half of 2023 witnessed a worrisome trend, with multichain games facing a 17 percent discontinuation rate. The dip in multichain games production aligns logically with the ongoing trend of games increasingly incorporating integration with two or more blockchains.

Single-chain projects were not immune to the decline as well. This type of game, notably Binance’s BNB Chain, is also experiencing an 11 percent abandonment rate.

Ethereum, Sui, Solana and other blockchain networks observed significant drop-offs, highlighting the hurdles to blockchain gaming sustainability. These findings underscore the need for a comprehensive exploration of factors such as technological challenges, market dynamics, and evolving user preferences.

High failure rate

High-profile casualties like Goals, a game that initially raised millions but later backtracked on blockchain integration, underscore the industry’s dynamic nature. This shift suggests a maturing sector prioritizing core gameplay and user experience over tokenized elements.

Research indicates a 75 percent failure rate for GameFi projects, which illustrates the increasing challenges for those looking to innovate concepts with gaming and decentralized currency.

While blockchain technology holds promise for enhancing gaming experiences, current challenges necessitate caution and critical analysis. Open discussions and informed approaches are required to address long-term sustainability, the true value of blockchain integration, and the ethical implications of play-to-earn mechanics.

Addressing issues such as funding stability, developer expertise and chain-specific considerations is also crucial. Focusing on quality gameplay, transparent communication and responsible blockchain implementation is just as vital for navigating industry turbulence.